Best inland port or best inland something else?

Zapata County may have the best bass lake in the U.S. but Laredo is still the #1 inland port. How does the average Laredoan know this?? Truck traffic jams everywhere. Ugh.

Reader Mildred sent in the following photo with a note stating:

Accident waiting to happen! Wth?! I think this Distribution company needs another location.

Good point, Mildred – just one careless driver and several trucks and the roadway get affected. So what is in all those trucks? Car parts, doodads and… apparently also FORBIDDEN FRUIT. From Customs:

CBP Agriculture Specialists at Laredo Port of Entry Seize over 1,700 Pieces of Prohibited Fruit, $1,000 Penalty Assessed

LAREDO, TEXAS – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agriculture specialists at the Laredo Port of Entry on Tuesday seized more than 1,700 pieces of prohibited fruit and other items from a single traveler.

The seizure occurred on April 23, 2012 during a routine examination at Colombia-Solidarity Bridge. A CBP officer referred a 2005 Ford Econoline van driven by a 46-year-old male resident of Lakeland, Fla. for a secondary examination. A CBP agriculture specialist conducted an intensive examination of the conveyance and discovered commercial quantities of prohibited fruits, including: 1,550 mangos, 100 guavas, 39 mamey sapotes, 27 passion fruits, two kilograms of hog plums, half a kilogram of pork skins and half a kilogram of red rice. A CBP agriculture specialist issued a $1,000 penalty for failure to declare prohibited agricultural products and seized the prohibited agricultural items.

A CBP agriculture specialist also discovered fruit fly larvae in the mangos, guavas and mamey sapotes. A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) plant pathologist positively identified the larvae as Anastrepha sp.

“Our frontline agriculture specialists did a fantastic job and seized a commercial amount of prohibited fruit coming through the passenger vehicles lanes,” said Sidney Aki, CBP Port Director, Laredo. “The discovery of fruit fly larvae underscores the importance of CBP’s agricultural mission and protecting American agriculture from pests not known to exist in the U.S.”

Ok, ok, forbidden fruit is not the same thing as prohibited fruit with fruit flies. Not an single apple was in the batch but that sure is a lot of fruit to be rejected. I am guessing, just guessing, the company was fined, the fruit sprayed and it is now on its way to your local tienda de comida. Just a tad bit more ripe from the delay, but better than being tossed away. If I am wrong, let me know.

UPDATE: A Customs representative responded to my request for info yesterday. The response was, “No viste cuando los echamos al rio? Estaban rete… GUACATELAS!” Ok, that was my response, he didn’t say that at all. He said in his very proper Customs way, “The fruit gets destroyed. The fruit had many fruit fly larvae, it was a big risk to U.S. Agriculture.”

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About Que Fregados

Que Fregados is a quirky look at little things that strike us funny in Laredo and the unique Latino culture. Suggestions and comments are welcome. You can also email to quefregados@gmail.com.
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4 Responses to Best inland port or best inland something else?

  1. Poncho1950 says:

    QF: You can’t spray fruit and kill what’s already inside it, so the fruit was destroyed. The problem with this pest, the particular strain of fruit fly, is that it thrives in warm climates; hence shipping the fruit to Canada poses no risk, and allowing it in growing zones 8 and 9 (Laredo is in zone 9, which is farther south and warmer than zone 8) poses a considerable risk to the fruit industries in those areas. Hence the prohiition on certain trees, avocados and mangos, for instance, within a certain distance of the border. It offers a buffer zone that protects the industry from proliferation of the troublesome fruit fly.

  2. Paul Cavazos says:

    Ask Poncho what is in the avocado seed.? For years and years it was not allowed to come to this country. Now that there is enough presure from the guacamole eaters it is is allowed. I think it was pressure from the aguacate growers in this country. What kind of worm is in the bottles of mezcal?
    I wish we could grow it here it is a delicavy!

  3. Poncho1950 says:

    Although fruit flies are problematic pests, the prohibition on importing avocados, specifically the Hass variety, with the pits has to do with the avocado seed weevil, which could harm US crops. Better pest control measures, not just pesticide use but practices such as regularly removing dropped fruit from the orchards, were introduced to mitigate the risks. Guacamole can be imported, and It’s available in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, packaged and shipped from Michoacan. You’re right that political pressure has something to do with it; US growers wanted protection from the pest, but it also reduced competition. More:
    https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2010/12/28/2010-32589/hass-avocados-from-mexico-importation-into-the-commonwealth-of-puerto-rico-and-other-changes
    As for the mezcal or agave worm, it is prized as a delicacy. There are two types, rojo and dorado (actually white). The rojo turns pale in the bottle, and the dorado turns ash gray. Both are the larvae of butterfly species. Maybe they can be found in the maguey plants found in the US. If so, a taquiar y date gusto.
    A couple of sources:
    http://www.oaxacainfo.com/oaxaca/mezcal.htm
    http://tequilasource.com/worm.htm

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